If you’re starting family therapy, there are some steps you can take to improve your experience from the start. These steps are not required for family counseling, but they can make for a smooth transition. Check out the guide below to learn how to prepare for family therapy sessions.
Talk to Your Children about Why You’re Getting Therapy
Your children might be confused about or resistant to therapy. Have a conversation before your first session, explaining what your child can expect along the way. “We are going to talk to someone as a family so we can resolve conflicts and improve our communication.” You’ll need to phrase it in a way that is age appropriate. Focus on the fact that you’re looking for solutions, and that this process will ultimately strengthen your family.
Note that your children will feed off your energy and perspective. If you act resistant to therapy, they will be too. Stay positive, and keep and open mind about family therapy.
Write down Discussion Topics before Each Appointment
It’s hard to remember discussion points in the moment. That is why we always recommend writing down questions and problems you’d like to discuss. This gives you a starting point for each family therapy session. If you come across an issue between sessions, jot it down. Teens and older children can create their own lists as well. There may be topics you don’t want to talk about without your therapist present. Write them down so you can refer back as needed.
Think about What You Want to Say in Therapy
You don’t have to have a script for therapy. However, it may be wise to think about what you want to say during your therapy sessions. For example, you may have a concern that you think your spouse will respond defensively about. Come up with a way to concisely and compassionately phrase your concern during therapy. If your spouse becomes defensive, the therapist will notice that. He or she can direct the conversation to a resolution.
Ask Your Family Therapist How to Improve Discussions at Home
One of the best benefits of family therapy is developing communication skills. These skills are tailored to your family specifically. Some families are quiet and reserved. Others are vocal and opinionated. No family dynamic is ‘wrong.’ You simply need to learn the best way to communicate within your family.
During your family therapy sessions, ask for tips on how to improve conversations at home. Your therapist can suggest tasks, activities and adjustments that work well for you. The more time you have in family therapy, the better your therapist will be at tuning into your needs.
Get Matched with a Family Therapist near You
If you’re interested in family therapy, Sherman Counseling has offices in Appleton WI, Green Bay WI, Oshkosh WI, Manitowoc WI, and Fond du Lac WI. Each family is matched with the best therapist for their specific needs. Your therapist will learn your family’s personality dynamic and communication style to find personalized solutions for you.
To get started, contact 920-733-2065 and ask about family therapy.